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November 25, 2014

Happy feet: Restless Socks launch

Adelaide's ankles are set to get a little more dapper when new company Restless Socks launches this week.

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It is almost impossible to explain how and why people do difficult, expensive, risky things like starting businesses.


Restless Sock’s official launch happens this Friday, November 28 from 7pm at Created Range – Shop 13, Regent Arcade, Adelaide. Everyone is welcome!

After years of interviewing those who have decided to start something of their own, CityMag has scarcely heard the same reasoning twice. The founders of new fashion enterprise Restless Socks – childhood friends Kirra Thomas and Andrei Priplotski – say it was each other’s personalities that helped their idea become something real.

“A lot of people, I think they just find it too hard and they give up and I can see how that would happen because I thought about giving up so many times,” says Kirra.

“Sometimes I would know that we were both deflated,” says Andrei. “Sometimes I just wanted to say to Kirra, ‘stuff it’, but then it’s her idea and her goals and I’m not going to be the guy who shoots that down. So I just think, let’s have a sleep on it and keep on going.”

The result of their persistence is Restless Socks’ first range of statement socks – a set of five designs, each inspired by a different city, that will properly launch to the public on Friday.

Kirra first became interested in starting a sock brand after several trips to America where she noticed street wear shops often had whole merchandise walls dedicated to socks, while most Australians were still making do with generic foot coverings only worthy of being hidden under shoes.

“Australia doesn’t really have anything like those sock brands and I know if you go online it’s difficult because you can’t get a lot of the brands shipped here. So I was just frustrated and I thought ‘let’s just make some’,” she says.

“I then approached Andrei because he understands the business stuff – tax and things – all that stuff I really don’t know about.”

Kirra had an idea of combining city skylines, bright colours and emblematic animals to create socks that reflected some of her favourite world cities and enlisted “a friend of a friend” to work on the design. Finding a factory that would make the socks at the quality Restless Socks was hoping for was a more complicated process.

After an initial search for an Australian manufacturer who could make the socks to their specifications yielded no responses, Kirra and Andrei started looking overseas.

“We tried one manufacturer in the Philippines and the quality wasn’t there,” says Andrei. “Their socks weren’t made from cotton but from this polyester/nylon and it just wasn’t right. We knew what quality we wanted, so we started contacting manufacturers in China.”

Eventually they found a factory located about an hour and a half out of one of China’s major cities that was happy to produce socks from high-end combed cotton, but Kirra and Andrei still had some concerns.

“We went to China – we made sure, we wanted to be sure that the conditions of the factory were good,” says Kirra. A five-day trip to the factory allowed them to inspect every facet of the business, and they came away happy that the working conditions were good and quality control was strict.

Now Kirra and Andrei have boxes and boxes of socks – dreamt up and then made into reality by their own persistence and funding – and they’re excited to finally send them to new homes after this Friday’s launch. Even as they take this first step, they’re thinking about the next one.

“We’ve got five more designs in the works for the city skyline-style socks, but we’re thinking of branching out into different designs too,” Kirra says. “You kind of have to think of the big picture of your brand – who you want to wear it, how you want it to look, just the whole thing. It’s a matter of sticking to who we want to be and what brand we want to be.”




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